Minnesota has reported more than 2,300 infections with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 over the last three days — a level of viral activity that approximates the first peak of the pandemic in the state in late May.
The three-day total includes 625 lab-confirmed infections reported Monday by the Minnesota Department of Health. The state also reported three additional deaths from COVID-19 and that 320 people were hospitalized with the infectious disease as of Monday. That included 159 people who needed intensive care due to breathing problems or other complications from their infections.
Deaths from COVID-19 have not increased — as the state has not reported any double-digit totals in fatalities since July 2 — but health officials fear that this could result from the rise in confirmed infections. A recent uptick in cases among residents and staff in long-term care facilities has drawn particular concern.
Some of the increase in confirmed cases has come through more diagnostic testing — as many infections produce mild or no symptoms and can otherwise go undetected. However, the positivity rate of diagnostic tests has risen above 5% and is approaching 6% — an indication that the virus is spreading more broadly than it had in the past.
The rate of infections with unknown sources of community transmission remained at 34% on Monday, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. That is above the state target of 30% and indicates that the virus is spreading beyond the ability of Minnesota health leaders to track it.